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Animal abuse: Yishun resident fined S$10,000 for swinging pet poodle on leash, kicking it

SINGAPORE — A man walking his pet dog was filmed abusing it repeatedly on two occasions last year, such as by kicking the animal, lifting it off the ground by its leash and pinning it down with his hands.

Chen Xin, 38, caught on video abusing his pet. He told the court that it was his first time owning a pet and he did not know how to train a dog.

Chen Xin, 38, caught on video abusing his pet. He told the court that it was his first time owning a pet and he did not know how to train a dog.

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SINGAPORE — A man walking his pet dog was filmed abusing it repeatedly on two occasions last year, such as by kicking the animal, lifting it off the ground by its leash and pinning it down with his hands.

Chen Xin, a 38-year-old Singaporean, was on Wednesday (Jan 15) fined S$10,000 and banned from keeping any pets for a year.

Videos of his abuse of the toy poodle, which is a breed of dog, were taken by an onlooker and they went viral on social media.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of wantonly causing unnecessary pain to the female dog in the garden area of his Yishun Ring Road block of flats.

A resident there witnessed both incidents and filmed them on his mobile phone, eventually reporting them to the then-Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. The National Parks Board (NParks) took over AVA’s responsibilities for animals in April last year.

The court heard that on Feb 15 last year, Chen was walking the dog when he suddenly pulled its leash hard several times, “causing it to move backwards about a metre each time”.

He then pulled its leash “suddenly and violently, causing it to move backwards about two metres”.

On March 9 last year, he was walking the poodle again when he:

  • Kicked its chest

  • Lifted it by its leash off the seating area and onto the ground from a height of about 50cm

  • Swung it by its leash from the ground up to the seating area

  • Grabbed it by its neck and pinned it down against the seating area for about three seconds

The dog has since been given a new home and did not suffer any permanent injuries, an NParks prosecutor told the court.

In mitigation, Chen — who did not have a lawyer — told the court through an interpreter that he was deeply remorseful and sought to explain his actions.

“Initially, my poodle was rushing and I tried to pull it back to walk with me, so there was a bit of a struggle,” he said regarding the first incident.

As for the second incident, he said that the dog had been sitting behind him, so he wanted to move it when he stood up.

“At the time, I pulled on the dog trying to lift it off… I pinned it down by using light force and the time period was very short,” he added.

In response, the NParks prosecutor said that Chen was busy using his mobile phone and did not seem to be paying much attention to the dog, and the force he used “seems to be unreasonable”.

After District Judge Ong Luan Tze fined him, Chen asked if prospective new pet owners could receive “pre-training” before they owned pets.

“The reason why I committed the mistake is because I do not know the boundaries, but it’s my first time owning a pet. I do not know how to train a dog,” he told the judge.

The NParks prosecutor replied that he could have consulted animal welfare groups or approached NParks.

Chen could have been fined up to S$15,000, jailed up to 18 months, or both, on each charge.

Related topics

animal abuse crime court NParks poodle

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